Wet Hot Vampire Summer (The Traveling Vampire Show – A Book Review)

The Traveling Vampire Show
Author: Richard Laymon
Published: 2001

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Traveling Vampire Show

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated: M for mature themes.

 

See.

Watch.

Tremble.

Scream.

A hot summer of 1963, there are flyers tacked up all over Grandville, advertising for the Traveling Vampire Show for one night only. The main event: the alluring and blood-draining Valeria.

After a bet is made, three teenagers: Dwight, Slim, and Rusty, are determined to get in to see the show even though only those who are over eighteen are admitted. The day is long and after a dog attack, deceiving friends, and strange break-ins, they wonder if they should go and what might await if they do.

 

This was a pretty good book. Definitely not your typical summer adventure. I’ve never read Richard Laymon before. I’m glad I got too.

Scarlet Reader

Slipping into the paranormal/horror genre, this book takes place in the small town of Grandville and everybody knows everybody’s business. By the end of this book, hell, not even, a good quarter of the way in, I knew the ins and outs of this town. The description, imagery, and world-building was superb! The entire book took place during the course of an entire day and it was so in depth and extended without a boring drag. It was warm, dry, and breezy during a time when you didn’t have to be afraid that somebody would break into your home. It was safe.

Pretty campy and fun and even humorous at times; yes, these are a few of my favorite things. Such a good Fright Night vibe. I was digging it.

Scarlet Reader - Traveling Vampire Show

I really liked Dwight and Slim, but found Rusty to be a horrifying little troll I wanted to shove off of a bridge. His little sister was a needy little imp too. They both made my jaw drop to the ground with horror. Cruel, liars, and completely spineless, the two of them are vicious and I couldn’t believe that Dwight was friends with them. Slim however, was so kick-ass. Tomboy with the curves, she’s gone through her own hell and is so strong for it! And she’s so smart. It’s is my absolute favorite thing about this book that she takes up the names of literary characters over her own name. I am in complete awe of her.

Scarlet Reader

This book really took me for a ride. There was nothing cut and dry about it. Shockers and sharp turns were around every page and really got me feeling paranoid. Laymon really got my skin creeping with goosebumps on the way to the book’s main event. Fantastic with the build-up and extra side stories that allowed me to get to know the characters so much more. I love it when there’s side stories, and he wrote them so well! I’m mind-blown. So fantastically done without breaking the flow or steering away from the main story i.e. getting to this vampire show.

 

Overall

A pretty good read. I was addicted. It’s not like it was some life-defining read, but it was a good book. Great for a summer time read. Certainly, for mature audiences too.

 

Quotables:

“Most of us tell ourselves we don’t believe in that sort of stuff, but maybe that’s because we’re afraid to they might exist. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, aliens from outer space, black magic, the devil, hell…maybe even God.” (Slim, p. 43)

“And even if you could somehow sort out the whys and find the truth, maybe it’s better if you don’t.” (Dwight, p. 51)

“The blood’ll bring vampires like chum brings sharks.” (p. 352)

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Song today? House of the Rising Sun by The Animals

 

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It Calls Her… (The Siren – A Book Review)

The Siren
Author: Kiera Cass
Published: 2009 (though I read the 2016 edition)

Siren- Adweek

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

A girl, Kahlen (which is pronounced Kā-len not KAh-len, and I didn’t know this until near the end of the book), is saved by the Ocean when the ship she is on sinks into its waters and takes away her family. For decades she has served the ocean in repayment for its mercy by singing and brings boats and ships to their doom. But while staying in Miami, Florida, she goes out exploring and meets a young man, Akinli. She doesn’t mean to be, but is taken with him instantly and even though she can’t speak, he is as well. But there’s a problem. She is not allowed to love anybody, but her sisters and the Ocean. It is simply forbidden otherwise. This doesn’t stop her from contemplating her loyalties and duties to the Ocean.

After only a couple of encounters, she can’t get away from him and her heart can’t bear it. With a couple decades of repayment to go, what can she do? What will she do?

Ocean - Funnyjunk

This book was so sweet and cute, which is odd for a book about a siren since their looked at as horrible creatures that yearn for nothing more than to drown men. So it was refreshing and new. I never would’ve envisioned sirens in a light where they’re actually good. That being said, I did feel like it was too much like a fairytale book. There wasn’t enough time interaction between Kahlen and Akinli. I ached for more and for deeper emotional attachment.

Want More - TenorGIFKeyboard

More so, I just couldn’t fully dive in. I just felt like there wasn’t enough to keep my attention half the time and I feel like that’s because it felt drawn out just a tad too much.

BUT!! There is a but. Because I did find this book to be lovely contrary to previous words.

The tone & style of the story was my favorite thing about this entire book. It was light and beautiful and I swear I could see it all perfectly. It made me miss the ocean and wish I could sink my toes into soft, white sands. Kiera Cass created a breathtaking tale of love spanning more than just time, but across oceans. And the bond of family that Kahlen has with her sisters is something to behold. A bond such as that is certainly unbreakable and can weather anything and Miss Cass really gave me that. That alone is magic in my eyes.

It’s a book I enjoyed reading this summer. It really opened my eyes to the idea that even deadly creatures have capability to love and the struggle with living among humanity and yearning for that life. I’d recommend this for anyone who is looking for that love at first sight kind of book that’ll make your heart float, you know, much like that one scene from Titanic when Jack sees Rose up on the deck and not even his friends can break his gaze.

Jack - The Odyssey Online

 

Quotables:

“I smiled. For a minute, I admired myself, too. He didn’t know how deep my problems ran, but he was right all the same. It was no small think to try, to find out what you care about in life. Even this moment, with this wonderful, temporary boy beside me, was a tiny miracle. I ought to give myself some credit.” (Kahlen, p. 72)

“I couldn’t stay forever. But at least I could stay for a day.” (Kahlen, p. 161)

“There’s always room for love. Even if it’s as small as a crack in a door.” (Padma, p. 307)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Gemini Feed by Banks.